New Trier junior guard David Hammes hit four three-pointers in scoring 14 points and sparked a fourth-quarter onslaught as the Trevians shut out Wheaton Academy the final 6:23 for an impressive 57-37 victory in first-round play of the Proviso West Holiday Tournament in Hillside on Monday.
New Trier (5-4) ended the game with a 17-0 run.
Hammes scored five consecutive points as the Trevians outscored the Warriors 22-2 after Wheaton Academy junior sharpshooter Josh Ruggles forged the game’s sixth and final tie at 35 with a three-pointer from the left wing with 36 seconds to play in the third quarter.
“It’s such a great tournament, all the best teams are here, and [Michael] Jordan is sponsoring the whole thing,” the 6-2 Hammes said. “This was definitely my best game in a high-stakes game.”
Hammes ended the third quarter by drilling a fadeaway from about 16-feet out that put the Trevians up 37-35. He opened the fourth quarter with his fourth three-pointer from the top of the key for a five-point edge.
“He was in the right place at the right time. That fadeaway at the elbow was kind of a broken play,” Hammes said. “We were trying to get the ball to [Jordan Thomas] at the block, but time was running out.
“With the three-pointer, I knew I’d already hit a couple and that if I got the open look, I should continue to take them,” he said.
Wheaton Academy 6-8 senior forward Gordon Behr (12 points, five rebounds) hit a leaner in the lane with 6:23 that cut that margin to 40-37. The Warriors never scored again. New Trier forced seven turnovers in the fourth quarter.
After graduating its entire starting roster from a team that lost to Simeon in the Class 4A supersectional, New Trier has been a team in search of a new identity. “The kids are working very hard to get to the place we want to be,” New Trier coach Scott Fricke said. “It hasn’t always been easy this year.”
Forward Robbie Abuls scored six of his 10 points during the game-closing run. Ricky Samuelson and Sean Boyd each contributed nine points and Thomas added eight points, four assists and two steals.
Ruggles captured the state’s King of the Hill three-point contest at lasts year’s state tournament. He gained Internet notoriety after he set a world record by making 135 three-pointers in five minutes over the summer. He also barnstormed Europe and beat some professional players in a three-point shooting contest in Spain.
Ruggles shot just 2-for-10, including 2-for-6 on three-pointers, in scoring six points for the Warriors (8-3).
“That was a good win for us,” Fricke said. “Wheaton’s a good team with a lot of size and some excellent shooters.
“I thought the key was when they opened the third quarter with a 7-0 run, we didn’t collapse like a lot of young teams do, but stuck to our game plan of sharing the ball and playing hard,” he said.